Saturday, January 06, 2007

Grounding

I've neglected this poor blog over the holidays. I see it's been a few weeks since I've reached out to cyberspace and not because I've had nothing to say. We had a house full of family here for Christmas and even though I wasn't in the spirit this year at all, we still managed to pull everything together and have a lovely Christmas Day. That holiday was followed by a quick trip up to Maine, where we closed on our new summer house. And then, back home to prepare for New Year's Eve and Chloe's birthday party.

It was a lot to accomplish, and because I'm a perfectionist I do tend to put excessive effort into the preparations. That may be part of the reason why I've been stuck at home the past week with a horrible cold. Each day, I think I'll feel better, but this nasty bug just digs in deeper and makes me feel even worse. Today it's my throat and no amount of hot tea seems to soothe the raw burn at the top of my palate.

I've missed riding and yoga and running this week, but I have regained a sense of what it takes to be a writer. My lifestyle has for the last six months or so, been one of hyperactivity. Each day starts out with an activity, a good thing of course to have a routine and to get exercise, but I've gone a little overboard and tried to do too much. Not content to just ride in the morning, I've gone from the barn to the yoga studio, or to a trail to walk with a friend. The weather this fall was enticing and drew me outdoors and away from my desk and projects. I did manage to keep up with my journal, in fact this has been one of the most productive journaling times of my life. I've filled over 400 pages since I returned from our cross country trip in September. That material will be put to some creative use, once I finish my memoir.

But even my journal suffered over the holidays. I just caught up this week--from 12 days behind. I'm lucky that I can remember things well enough to record details and points from conversations, with a little prompting from my calendar or emails from that day. I also finished the three essays I had to write for my graduate school application and read the autobiography to my writing group on Thursday (they loved it, phew!).

This week of illness has really been a blessing for me, because it reminded me how much I love to write and how much pleasure I can get from writing and being alone. When our days are full with activities and friends, we can't ground enough to get back into the groove. It takes the freedom of uninterrupted time to open up the channels that allow the thoughts and words to flow. I'm seeing that I'll need to be more protective of that time when I enter back into my routine next week (I hope I'm feeling better by then).

Finding balance is the hardest thing for me to do. When I'm out in the world living, I can almost feel myself converting to an extrovert. I can easily be lured into endless socializing, because the alternative is sitting alone at home at my desk with hard work to do. When I do have the will to sit there and I get started on the projects, I remember who I really am and who I want to be. Not a dilettante, but an observer, recorder, and interpreter of the world. Yes, it often feels like a sacrifice to say no, I can't do that, I have to work, and with no real deadlines or structure it's hard to do that sometimes, especially since it's such an isolating occupation to begin with. But, that's the difference between the work that gets done and the work that doesn't. Thank you nasty virus for reminding me of that and for giving me the downtime to start writing again.

2 comments:

Lazy Geisha said...

Wow Kim! It sounds like you've been busy! I'm sorry to hear that you're not feeling well, but sometimes our bodies throw a curveball at us because we need to slow down.

Three of my girlfriends and I are going to be starting yoga soon. It's been something I've wanted to do for a while and by chance of pure serendipity I discovered Namaste and just decided to take the plunge. I used to do Kata quite frequently years ago, but this past year sadly only saw me doing aerobics and some running, but yoga is exactly what I need.

I hope you feel better soon.

xoxo,
nina

Kim Barke said...

Nina--I'm so glad to hear that you are going to try yoga. It changed my life, literally. Plus, you'll find that it draws together a lot of beautiful women! Keep me posted on your progress.

Kim